The Learning Conversation: Feedback Approach

Journal Club Article: Norris, E. M., & Bullock, I. (2017). A ‘Learning conversation’ as a style of feedbackMedEdPublish6.

Keywords: Authentic Feedback; Critical Inquiry; Active Listening; Facilitation: Reflection-in-action.

Aim of the learning conversation: is to provide a style of feedback may useful in many other contexts to provide authentic feedback.

“The central aim of a learning conversation is to promote and support greater self-awareness of the individual student in order to develop competence and team leadership through critical inquiry (Harri-Augstein & Thomas 1991).”

In simulation, skills teaching or education sessions the education provides a planned experience which brings about a change of behaviour and the process is facilitated by feedback.

“The learning conversation uses empathic, active respectful listening and discussion shared between a small group of participants, facilitated by an instructor to ensure that key learning emerges from this process duly informing future practice and behaviours.”

MESSAGE Approach To Learning Conversation:

  • Make an opening remark
  • Explore: participants to explore key issues
  • Summarise identified issues
  • Share, involves the team/group to gain their perspective and thoughts
  • Advocacy with inquiry (“The term ‘advocacy’ means to ‘speak for’ someone, so that ‘advocacy with inquiry’ is the reflection of an impression gained through questioning”).
  • Gems, any areas not understood, instructor to ensure all participants understand key areas of learning
  • Emphasise key points.


“During simulation teaching one can promote reflection-in-action with discrete prompting but the feedback afterwards is reflection-on-action designed to reinforce performance and create double loop learning, giving the candidate increased self direction. Reflection allows students to explore their assumptions or schemata and reframe them in the light of both their experience of the simulation and the feedback.”